A group e-mail showed up today from some of my boyhood friends and fellow Springsteen worshipers on the sad passing of Danny Federici yesterday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC from melanoma. He was only 58.
Here’s my open letter and response to the thread:
Not too much more to add here except my sadness on the passing of a great musician and, as O’D sez, one of the crucial background guys who added so much to the sound without needing the spotlight. I watched the killer video of Danny from March 20th in Indy doing the accordion on “Sandy” – he looked fabulous and I can’t believe he’s gone. I do that cancer research thing today and it still amazes me how fast it can suck the life out of someone. I guess I need to be working harder.
The last two times I saw the E Street Band were in Greensboro (with Jonah and wife) and at UNC-Chapel Hill – my best musical memory of Federici from those tours was the organ solo in “You’re Missing.” At the nighttime outdoor concert in Chapel Hill, some huge Southern bug flew into Bruce’s mouth – he pulled it out and asked the crowd, “Is this the college mascot?”
As I may have said to some of you when Joe Strummer died, you know we’re getting old when our idols start dying of regular stuff like cancer and cardiovascular disease instead of drug overdoses.
Hope all you guys are rocking on in your respective lives – Schneider laid down the gauntlet last time we all wrote – for us all to meet up at SXSW some year.
Maybe we should before we start checking out, too.
All the best to you and your families,
Hat-tip to O’D for the post title.